When was the last time you admitted you were weak?
Prior to accepting Christ as my savior, I never would admit weakness. Ask any man: What makes a man a man? Most men will give you a stock answer like, “providing for my family”, “being a good father”, “being successful in my profession”, or maybe even… “the ability to overcome any obstacle placed in front of me”. All of these are probably pretty typical answers you might get. I can say this with confidence because I know that prior to salvation, these would have been my answer. For a man to admit weakness is unacceptable in today’s society. Our society doesn’t want weak men.
The bible tells us different. In both the old and new testament God reveals to us that admitting our weakness is critical to our salvation. In fact, our weakness is why God sent his Son down from heaven to save us. We had become slaves to the law. In Romans 8: 1-17 Paul talks tells us about this. In these verses, Paul teaches a very confusing lesson to the casual reader. What Paul is talking about in these verses is Transformation. Transformation of our sinful hearts to our Godly hearts. Transformation from sinner to saved. For years I heard sermons about these verses, I read these verses, I even attended bible studies about these verses. My problem was that I wanted to understand these verses with my mind and apply worldly, sinful logic to them. This can’t be done. These verses from Romans are meant to be understood with our hearts, not our minds.
A couple of years back, I sustained a traumatic brain injury that changed my life. I couldn’t drive to my own doctor appointments because of the effects of my injury. In fact, I couldn’t even stand without losing my balance. I was now dependent on my wife, family, and friends to help me with routine daily tasks. To a “man” who had control of everything in his life, this was humiliating and emasculating. Depression set in and thoughts of suicide were serious considerations at that point. Then God stepped in and opened my eyes. One night I had a dream so realistic and bone chilling, my life changed. I was walking along a path with God and passing different times and places in my life. Times as a teen, a young adult, and even recent times in my 40’s. I was mortified and embarrassed. God was standing there with me watching all my sin-filled actions. Every one of them. He just kept walking with me, never saying a word, just watching me commit act after act of deed’s I knew were wrong. When I woke up, I was sweating and humbled beyond words. I fell out of bed and knelt down next to it and wept. I cried like a baby. I begged for forgiveness and a second chance. I knew I could do better if He would just let me prove it. Then it happened, a sudden calm. I understood that there was nothing I could do to “prove it”. I just had to accept my sinful nature and surrender my will to His. He helped me understand that if I let Him, He would take care of not only me, but every thing. It was a scary peace. I was transformed.
Fast forward to today. Due to circumstance and weather issues, my wife was left stranded at an airport in NC with no way home. God stepped in and she was put on a flight back to Washington Dulles airport. Unfortunately, her departure airport was a different airport in our area, so once she was there, she would be stuck. Dulles airport is about an hour from our home, and with my limitations, for me to drive at night in the rain was a less than desirable solution. I prayed for God to take care of her and our family and to help her not be stressed out. I knew we would be OK even if we had to wait until the morning for me to go get her. Unbeknownst to me however, my wife had posted our situation on social media. She summarized her situation and my willingness to pick her up; but due to my diminished abilities, her concern with that solution. To the glory of God, people came out of the woodwork to help. So many offers from friends (even friends we have not spoken to in a while) came in to offer to drive over an hour from their homes in the rain at 11:00 pm to go get her. What a blessing.
I am telling you all this because prior to my salvation, I would have never let this happen. I would have driven tonight in the rain despite the risk because that is what a man does to take care of his family. A man steps up. Bologna!!
A man acknowledges his weakness and his position as a child of God. A man surrenders control of his life to his Creator and trusts that His perfect will, will work things out for His glory. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 God tells Paul that His grace is all he needs. Paul then tells us that he celebrates his weakness so that the power of Christ can work through him. Paul has been transformed to understand what a man is. A man is not what society, even then, dictates. A man is someone who surrenders his will to God and understands that His grace, mercy, and love are all he needs.
Have you admitted you are weak?